Biz Buzz, May 20, 2012

Since it opened nearly five years ago, Creative Avenues has offered everyone from the age of 3 on up an outlet to express themselves, whether it be through art, dance or theater. And enough kids and adults are taking advantage of that venue — particularly in the dance and theater programs — that owner Joy Potter says it’s time for a move.

The arts and entertainment enrichment center soon will move out of its 3,100-square-foot space at 126 S. Fifth St. into a 7,600-square-foot facility at 835 N. 26th St., which is directly behind the former Hobby Lobby store in the Teller Arms Shopping Center. Potter said she hopes to open at the new site in late June.

“We are sad to leave downtown,” she said. “But we’re doubling our space. We’ve outgrown our walls.”

Potter said 126 kids were crammed into the downtown studio during the most recent children’s show. Half of the new location features an open room with 14-foot ceilings, which she said will be perfect for small theatrical performances. The other half is two stories tall with classroom space.

While Creative Avenues rented its current space, Potter said a group of private investors will assist her with the purchase of the center’s new locale.

Graff Dairy, 581 29 Road, hopes to drum up more morning and cold-season business with the addition of coffee and coffee-related drinks to its drive-through menu.

Graff Manager Chelcie Blodgett said ice cream customers are scarce during the winter, when most customers simply want to buy milk and nothing more. Blodgett said the dairy wanted to drum up more business in the chilly months by adding cappuccino, coffee, lattes and espresso shots to its drive-through menu. Even though the idea didn’t come to fruition until two weeks ago, well past the end of winter, Blodgett said she hopes the new offerings will encourage more morning traffic at the dairy, which opens at 7 a.m. year-round. Coffee drinks are served during all store hours, which extend to 9 p.m. during the summer season.

“It was kind of slow at the start but it is picking up,” Blodgett said of coffee customers.

Blodgett said the most popular drink right now is the ice cream frappe, which is served cold and includes a malt-like blend of ice cream and espresso shots.

■ Encouraged by a strong first year at its Orchard Mesa store, and prospects for high-volume customer traffic with last fall’s completion of the 29 Road overpass, shipping and postage store Drop Zone has expanded to a second location at 2905 Patterson Road, Suite 3.

Drop Zone owner Christine Chaivaras said they’ve been operating at the new location, adjacent to the Safeway off 29 Road, about a month. Her first store at 2692 U.S. Highway 50 opened for business in February 2010.

“We just saw a need there for people not having to drive into town to find a Fed Ex drop center,” Chiavaras said.

Drop Zone is a Fed Ex-authorized shipping center that packs and ships internationally, while offering other basic services such as document copies.

It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is closed on weekends.

■ When an announcement about the planned closure this fall of downtown Grand Junction boutique Girl Flowers, 637 Main St., appeared in Biz Buzz earlier this month, some mistakenly thought they were reading about fellow downtown boutique Girlfriends, 316 Main St.

So Girlfriends owner Jennie Mason, who fielded a handful of inquiries from customers wondering when her doors will close, wants to clarify: She’s open. There are no plans to close. Things are good.

“It’s up,” Mason said of business. “No complaints. Downtown just seems to be getting better.”

■ Employees at Yogo Mojo, 950 North Ave., have decided that money that would otherwise go into their own pockets is better spent enriching the lives of others.

The employees Friday night presented a $1,000 check — an amount representing the tips they collected over the last year — to Project Hope of Colorado to help pay for a prom for local developmentally disabled teenagers.

Each year, Project Hope puts on the event, which is reliant on fundraisers and donations, at no cost to the teens.

“We at Project Hope are extremely grateful for their compassion and contribution,” the organization stated in a news release. “Because of businesses like Yogo Mojo, we can continue to make this magical evening a treasured memory that they will cherish for a lifetime.”

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